Answers to questions about RV Repair and Maintenance from RV expert Dave Solberg, author of the “RV Handbook” and the managing editor of the RV Repair Club. This column appears Monday through Saturday in the RV Travel and RV Daily Tips newsletters. (Sign up for an email reminder for each new issue if you do not already receive one.) Today Dave answers a reader’s question about filling all of the RV’s tanks with fresh water during winter storage.
When storing our coach for the winter (inside and plugged in), should we fill our fresh, gray, and black tanks with fresh water? Thanks! —David, Tiffin Allegro Bus
I would drain every tank and clean them out thoroughly, as sitting water can get skunky and develop bacteria pretty fast. Plus, the black water tank will have holding tank chemicals and sewage in it.
How to clean the RV’s tanks for storage
First, I would drain the black water tank and then fill it back up with fresh water, either through the black water flush valve, or a handheld wand through the toilet. This will help flush the tank again and especially clean off the monitor panel probes. I also use a clear adapter at the bayonet or end of the hose to see the condition of the dump fluid. You will be amazed at how dirty the second dump is. I usually dump it one more time just to be safe. Then I put in Thetford Drain Valve Lubricant to keep the rubber seal in the spade valve sealed.
After that, I dump the gray water tank and fill it again with fresh water and dump in some Thetford Gray Water Tank Treatment to make sure all soap and other items are flushed out. Then I dump again. I use the Valve Lubrication here as well. And finally, the fresh water tank, lines, pump, and water heater are completely drained.
One word of caution
If you are plugging in your unit, make sure it’s plugged into a dedicated outlet, not one that is ganged to others inside the building or garage. And make sure it’s wired with the proper power, as most residential plug-ins are either 10 or 15 amps. Run nothing but your converter, as it will draw about 9 amps. If you have anything else on, you could overload the circuit.
Read more from Dave here.
Dave Solberg worked at Winnebago for 15 years developing the dealer training program, as marketing manager, and conducting shows. As the owner of Passport Media Creations, Dave has developed several RV dealer training programs, the RV Safety Training program for The Recreation Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation, and the accredited RV Driving Safety program being conducted at rallies and shows around the country. Dave is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
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